Our photographer, Evan Anderson, took to the road in his van last summer, spending months roaming the country with his partner, Abby, and their two dogs. He shares some of his favorite images from his epic adventure. 

| Yosemite National Park, California

We rolled into the park at sunrise. The light cut through mist and immense, jagged granite formations into the valley. That’s when I realized what all the hype was about; I was half expecting to see a group of dinosaurs grazing in the fields. We never found those dinosaurs, but we did have a dangerously close encounter with a bobcat. We found a gorgeous swimming hole along a river, tucked away from the crowds. This image was taken after returning from that swimming hole. 

02 | San Fransisco, California

My partner, Abby, and I parted ways in San Fransisco so that she could visit a friend by train. With the two pups, I spent the day exploring the architectural and natural beauty of San Fransisco. This image was actually taken from on top of my van, parked in the very place that I slept those few nights. To the left was the city, and to the right was the Golden Gate Bridge. At night, the lights from the bridge and city lit up the night sky.

Northern California Coast

This secret little gem was found off Highway 1 north of San Fransisco. We had the entire place to ourselves, and it was hands down one of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever been on. This was taken from the top of a lonely rock formation on the beach that we climbed up to watch the sunset. Everything was golden: the sand, the cliffs, the sunset, even the water seemed to glow. Now I know why it’s called the “Golden Coast.”

04 | Humbolt, California

This was a private bay we found on a hike along the coast of Northern California. The way the mist laid so gently on the dark water. The rocks behind me were covered in this lime green moss. I love the simplicity of this image, the unknown. The vulnerability in her pose also strikes me. I’m a sucker for mist.

Great Sand Dunes National Park, Colorado

As you’re driving along, astounded by the Rocky Mountains, you start to see the desert up against the mountains. The closer you get, the larger this “little” desert grows. There were people going straight to the top of the dunes, where the view spanned for miles, but we broke off the route to explore these gorgeous folds of untouched sand. The sun was hot and the wind wicked. I think this was the dog’s favorite place, though. They ran wild.

06 | Salida, Colorado

This was taken from our campsite, somewhere on a mountain overlooking the town of Salida. The town reminded me a lot of Asheville. We checked out a little blues festival and then headed to this camp spot. The sunset was epic; a storm had just rolled through, and there were black clouds over all the whispy, white ones. The jagged shape of the mountain tops cut the light into beams. That night the coyotes came. At first the howls were pretty far, but they kept getting closer and closer. We rushed the dogs into the van and jumped in ourselves.

07 | Zion National Park, Utah 

We drove through Zion for sunset with plans to come back the next day to really explore the park. We woke up the next morning and a wildfire had blown so much smoke into the Park that you couldn’t see 100 yards in front of you, and breathing was tricky. The little time we did spend in the park was incredible. The winding roads through the mountains to get to this low spot were nothing short of mind-blowing.

Outside Zion National Park, Utah

This is where we stayed after we visited Zion. I love the tones and texture in this image—the reds, oranges,and yellows (and yes, Goldie back there as well). You can see Abby getting some food ready in the van. The layers in these formations still blow my mind. The time and natural events that took place to create those layers, now revealed in the most beautiful way. As the sun dipped below on the other side, those red canyons turned purple, and the field a vibrant gold.

EvanAndersonPhotography.com | @evan.anderson